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Proceedings Paper

The Spot Of Arago And Its Role In Wavefront Analysis
Author(s): James E. Harvey; James L. Forgham; Karl Von Bieren
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Paper Abstract

The "spot of Arago" has been a controversial topic since its inception in 1818 when Poisson predicted its existence, which violated common sense, in an attempt to discredit Fresnel's wave theory of light. Arago performed the experiment and found the surprising prediction was true, thus putting Fresnel's theory on a firm technical foundation. In recent years, the spot of Arago, which exists as a bright spot at the center of the geometrical shadow of a circular obstruction, has caused substantial grief in various high energy laser applications and has come to be considered more of a nuisance than a curiosity. This paper suggests that the size and shape of the spot of Arago is characteristic of the wavefront aberrations of the incident beam and can therefore be used to advantage as a beam sample for wavefront analysis of annular beams. The implementation of this wavefront sampling scheme would eliminate the requirement for a special beam sampling optical component and thus reduce to a minimum the deleterious effects upon the beam frequently accompanying the use of such components. Both experimental and numerical results will be presented along with a discussion of the capabilities and limitations of this particular beam sample for performing various wavefront sensing functions.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 August 1983
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 0351, Wavefront Sensing, (1 August 1983); doi: 10.1117/12.933905
Show Author Affiliations
James E. Harvey, The University of New Mexico (United States)
James L. Forgham, United Technologies of New Mexico, Inc. (United States)
Karl Von Bieren, Rockwell International (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 0351:
Wavefront Sensing
Noah Bareket; Chris L. Koliopoulos, Editor(s)

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